Updated at 1:02 p.m. March 19 :
Escambia County activated its Emergency Operations Center at a level 2 on Tuesday, March 17 at 8 a.m. The county has also declared a local state of emergency.
The Escambia County Joint Information Center is distributing updates around 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Friday to streamline communication from our partner agencies regarding COVID-19. As this dynamic situation unfolds, the frequency of these updates may change if there is breaking news. Individual organizations will continue to send news releases. This list of information is what has been provided to the JIC from our partners.
Ascension Medical Group Sacred Heart
On Monday, March 16, Ascension Medical Group Sacred Heart opened the first regional drive-through testing center for COVID-19.
- IMPORTANT: All patients are required to be screened before arriving at the drive-through testing center by calling the Ascension Sacred Heart COVID-19 Screening Call Center at (850) 746-2684.
- The screening call center opened March 16 at 6 a.m. and will be open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
- For the week of March 16, the hours of operation for the drive-through testing center for COVID-19 will be 9 a.m-1 p.m.
Baptist Health Care
- Baptist Health Care continues to see patients as scheduled.
- Baptist Health Care has no presumptive positive or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in any of our facilities at this time.
- Baptist Health Care continues to screen patients according to CDC guidelines and is currently testing those who are eligible at existing locations.Baptist is considering a centralized testing site, but details have not yet been finalized.We will continue to follow our current process until further notice.
- After careful consideration and in an abundance of caution, Baptist Health Care asks that family members and friends not visit loved ones in the hospital or outpatient care areas, but to communicate with them by mobile device, phone, FaceTime or Skype. Exceptions will be made for patients whose loved one is crucial to the delivery of their treatment and care. This caregiver must be well and not exhibiting any signs of illness.Please visit the BHC website at eBaptistHealthCare.org for more details.
- All Baptist Health Care onsite and offsite education and outreach events scheduled through April have been postponed. This includes Golden Care seminars, Faith Health Network Academy classes and Wellness Wednesday classes. Updates will be posted at Facebook.com/BaptistHealthCare.
- We continue to follow all CDC protocols, including implementation of screening protocols and measures to provide for the greatest access while ensuring the safety of our patients, visitors and team members. Physical isolation areas have been set up in the ERs at all three BHC hospitals (Baptist, Gulf Breeze and Jay) for those who meet CDC criteria for possible COVID-19. The modifications and air handling are constantly monitored to ensure that they meet regulatory requirements.
- We are continually updating our website and encourage the public to visit eBaptistHealthCare.org for information and updates
Health Information Provided by the Florida Department of Health .
The COVID-19 test is not designed to be a screening tool for asymptomatic people. If you meet the screening criteria for COVID-19 (experiencing symptoms, have a travel history, or exposure to a COVID-19 patient), contact your healthcare provider. Call, do not visit, your health care provider and tell them about your symptoms and your travel history or exposure to a COVID-19 patient. They will determine if you meet the criteria for testing.
- Escambia County has had 1 positive COVID-19 case.
- Public health efforts at this time are focused concurrently on containing spread of this virus and mitigating the impact of this virus. A technique called contact tracing is frequently used during such efforts. Contact tracing tracks and prevents the spread of disease. Epidemiologists work to find everyone who has been in contact with the positive case. Persons identified to be at-risk through the contact tracing process are interviewed, evaluated, and educated on their risk factors and what to do.
- FDOH-Escambia encourages our residents and visitors to take steps to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19. Everyone can do their part to help. Your cooperation is integral to the ongoing public health response to try to slow the spread of this virus.
- If you don’t have a health care provider or health insurance, call, do not visit, Community Health Northwest Florida at 850-436-4630 or other community walk-in locations, and tell them about your symptoms and your travel history or exposure to a COVID-19 patient. They will determine if you meet the criteria for testing.
- Assistance with the steps outlined above may be obtained by calling the Florida Department of Health in Escambia County’s Coronavirus information line at 850-595-6500, option 6.
- The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. The Department recommends everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Staying home when you are sick and avoiding contact with persons in poor health;
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;
- Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then disposing of the tissue;
- Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing;
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty; and
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
The Department of Health updates Florida’s COVID-19 information page daily. Please visit www.flhealth.gov/covid-19 for the latest information.
For any other questions related to COVID-19 in Florida, please contact the Department’s dedicated COVID-19 Call Center by calling 1-(866) 779-6121. The Call Center is available 24 hours a day. Inquiries may also be emailed to COVIDfirstname.lastname@example.org.
City of Pensacola
The Escambia County Board of Commissioners will hold a special meeting at 11 a.m. tomorrow, Friday, March 20 in the board chambers of the Ernie Lee Magaha Government Building, found on the first floor of 221 Palafox Place. The purpose of this meeting is to address updates and response to COVID-19. In an abundance of caution, space will be limited. Escambia County will be practicing social distancing as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and will maintain a 6-foot rule of space. All commission meetings can be viewed live on myescambia.com/ectv, channel 4/1004 on Cox, channel 98 for Spectrum and Mediacom (Pensacola Beach) subscribers and channel 99 for AT&T U-verse subscribers. Watch anytime at ECTV On Demand.
- Bars and nightclubs in Escambia County and the City of Pensacola must close for 30 days starting at 5 p.m. today, Tuesday, March 17, per an executive order from Gov. Ron DeSantis.
- Restaurants are also encouraged to take the following steps to allow for social distancing and limit potential spread of COVID-19:
- Escambia County is also following the recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to limit groups on the beach to 10 people or fewer, with social distance between individuals. Signs will be posted at Pensacola Beach, and the county will be monitoring.
- Escambia County and City of Pensacola have canceled all publicly-permitted, in-person events that consist of 50 people or more effective Monday, March 16, until further notice.
- Event cancellations:
- Youth Commission - March 17
- Census 2020 Kick-Off Event - March 18
- AARP Tax-Aide Services at Pensacola Library, Molino Branch Library, and Southwest Branch Library are suspended as of March 16 until further notice.
- Board of Adjustment - March 18
- Development Review Committee - March 18
- Human Relations Commission - March 18
- Escambia County Soil and Water Conservation District - March 19
- Regional Roundup - March 21
- Library Board of Governance - March 23
- Special Tourist Development Council- March 24
- Escambia County Health Facilities Authorities - March 24
- District 5 Town Hall with Commissioner Barry - March 24
- Coffee with the Commissioner - Jeff Bergosh, District 1 - March 25
- HUD Regional Information Session - March 25
- PBA Collective Bargaining Negotiations - March 27
- Escambia County will postpone scheduled public activities, events, park rentals and programs held at county community centers and county parks effective today, Tuesday, March 17, until further notice, based on a recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This does not impact elections locations. Escambia County outdoor parks will remain open at this time for general use.
- Escambia County is taking additional preventative action to ensure public facilities such as community centers, libraries and public buildings are sanitized.
- Staff and contractors are increasing the disinfecting of restrooms, customer service areas, exterior entrances, door knobs, hard surfaces and other high-traffic areas.
- Escambia County staff continue to follow the general cleaning and precautionary guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other public health organizations. The contracted custodial provider has been informed of CDC recommendations and ensures their process is in line with those recommendations. Commercial hospital-grade disinfectant is being used with each cleaning following the manufacturers recommendation for dwell time.
- Sanitizer dispensers have been placed throughout various high-traffic buildings such as the M.C. Blanchard Judicial Building.
- Additional sanitizer dispensers have been ordered for high-volume buildings like community centers and the ECAT facility. CDC signage has been placed in bathrooms in county facilities.
- The library will continue to offer hand sanitizer at all help desks and Lysol wipes to wipe down computers. Library staff will continue to use Lysol wipes on all computers before the library opens each day, and they have increased wiping down work surfaces throughout the day. Library staff sprays door knobs with Lysol multiple times per day as an additional precaution.
- ECAT’s fleet maintenance team is constantly working to make sure vehicles and facilities are continuously sanitized. All revenue service vehicles are disinfected daily. Commercial grade disinfectant is currently being used every night by ECAT bus cleaners, which was added as part of the enhanced comprehensive bus cleaning process. The county has communicated with the contracted paratransit provider to relay CDC information and has ensured the steps they are taking are sufficient.
- Escambia County has established a Joint Information Center to streamline distribution of public information regarding COVID-19. The JIC is located in the Escambia County Public Safety Building, 6575 N. "W" St. Escambia County will disseminate coordinated releases around 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, consisting of any updates from all partner agencies related to COVID-19 preventative actions, cancellations, or preparedness activities. Individual organizations will continue to send their own news releases.
Effective immediately, the following services are available online only at EscambiaTaxCollector.com
- Property Tax Payments – Property tax payments are due by the end of March
- Business Tax Receipt – Businesses can renew and print their businesses tax receipts online
- BTExpress – Citizens and business owners can apply for a new business tax receipt or edit information on your current account
- Vehicle/Vessel Registration (Express Lane) – Renew online and pick up the same or next business day in one of our convenient drive thrus or have the registration mailed to you
- Hunting and Fishing License – Purchase or renew online
- Tax Collector: In order to limit the number of people in the offices, only the person needing a transaction should visit the lobby. An exception to this request are a parent with small children. All other members of the party should remain outside the office or in the vehicle.
- The Escambia County First Judicial Circuit will be moving to mission-critical functions only. A copy of the order may be viewed here.
- Escambia County, the City of Pensacola, Ascension Sacred Heart and Community Health Northwest Florida have partnered to open a drive-through COVID-19 testing site at Brownsville Community Center, located at 3200 W. De Soto St., opening Monday, March 23.
- IMPORTANT: All patients are required to be screened before arriving at the drive-through testing center by calling the Ascension Sacred Heart COVID-19 Screening Call Center at (850) 746-2684. Those who have not been screened over the phone will not be provided access to the drive-through test center.
- Once patients have been pre-screened through the call center for symptoms, they will be sent to the drive-through testing site for a nasal swab test.
- The screening call center will be open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. The drive-through clinic will open Monday, March 23 and will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Due to concerns related to COVID-19, Escambia County will postpone library events and programming effective Wednesday, March 18, until further notice, based on the recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Thank you for your support of West Florida Public Libraries and we welcome you to still visit our library branches at this time as we are still operating at normal business hours.
Due to concerns related to COVID-19, the City of Pensacola is closing all community centers and programs to the public effective Monday, March 16, until further notice. In addition, event rentals with 50 or more participants at city facilities are canceled effective immediately for at least eight weeks, based on a recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Senior Meal Pickup Locations:
- Seniors who usually get their meals at Fricker Resource Center can pick up meals at Cobb Resource Center. Seniors who usually get their meals at Gull Point Resource Center can pick up meals at Bayview Senior Center.
- Seniors must call Council on Aging at 432-1475 before noon the day before pickup to reserve their meal.
- For more information and updates, please contact City of Pensacola Parks and Recreation at 436-5670 or like Play Pensacola Parks & Recreation on Facebook
Escambia County and the City of Pensacola are canceling all publicly-permitted events with 50 or more people in an abundance of caution related to COVID-19.
City-permitted event cancellations:
- Gallery Night - March 20 & April 17
- Smokin' in the Square - March 20-22
- East Hill Neighborhood Association Fish Fry - March 21
- Palafox Market - Saturdays through the beginning of May (including Saturday, May 9)
- Battle of the Badges - March 22
- Gulf Coast Science Festival - March 27-29
- Ciclovia - March 28
- Deluna Du Youth Duathlon - March 29
- Pensacola VegFest - March 28
- Bayou Hills Run - March 28
- Blues on the Bay - Sundays through the beginning of May (including Sunday, May 10)
- Bayfront Wine Festival - April 3-4
- Food Truck Festival - April 3-4
- Pensacola Jazz Festival - April 3-4
- City of Pensacola Parks and Recreation Egg Hunt - April 4
- Pensacola Little Theater Cabaret - April 4
- Bayview Multiple Sclerosis Walk - April 4
- Navy Federal 5K Run - April 4
- Hip Huggers Easter Egg Hunt - April 4
- Gateway Church Family Picnic - April 4
- Envision Family BBQ - April 10
- Civitan Community Picnic - April 11
- AWKO Justice Jog - April 11
- Eggawahooza - April 11
- Trinity Presbyterian Church Jelly Bean 5K - April 11
- Tanyard Annual Easter Egg - April 11
- Kid’s Fishing Clinic - April 11
- Movies in the Park - April 17
- Aletheia Flapjack 5K - April 18
- Brits by the Bay Car show - April 18
- Burgers Battle - April 18
- Krewe of Vixens 5k - April 18
- Children’s Treasure Hunt - April 25
- Earth Day Pensacola - April 20
- Paws on Palafox - April 27
- Relay for Life - April 25
- Pensacola Triathlon
- First Baptist Church Picnic
- Walk the Talk for Epilepsy - May 2
- National Day of Prayer Event at City Hall - May 7
- Pensacola Crawfish Festival - May 8-10
- Fiesta of Five Flags 5k - May 9
- East Hill Block Party - May 9
- This action was taken in response to a recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that organizers cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States.
- This only applies to events that are permitted through Escambia County or the City of Pensacola. Private event organizers are encouraged to use their discretion and follow the directions of officials from the Florida Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to determine if event cancellations are necessary.
- Per the CDC's recommendation, the cancellation of publicly-permitted events will be in place for eight weeks. Escambia County and City of Pensacola officials will reassess the situation after eight weeks and determine whether to continue or lift the cancellations.
- The city and county will work with event organizers to reschedule events as needed.
- Residents are encouraged to use their discretion when it comes to attending public events.
Other meeting and event cancellations:
- 2020 Census Community Kick-off – March 18
- Development Review Meeting - March 18 (canceled every Wednesday until further notice)
- Parks & Recreation Board Meeting - March 19
- How to Do Business with Local Government Workshop – March 25
- Affordable Housing Task Force – March 26
- Affordable Housing Advisory Committee – April 14
Bars and nightclubs in Escambia County and the City of Pensacola must close for 30 days effective 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 17, per an executive order from Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Per the governor’s executive order, restaurants should also take the following steps to allow for social distancing and limit potential spread of COVID-19:
- Limit capacity to 50 percent.
- Maintain at least 6 feet distance between tables.
- Offer pickup and delivery options.
Other city actions:
- Mayor Grover Robinson has declared a state of emergency in the City of Pensacola.
- Public access at City Hall has been limited to the automatic doors on the east side of the building. The front entrance has been locked in order to limit public contact with door handles.
- City departments have continuity of operations plans in place to ensure essential services will be maintained if the city’s workforce is impacted.
- Based on guidance from the state, Pensacola Fire Department and the Pensacola Police Department have temporarily stopped fire station and police station tours in an effort to protect first responders and maintain critical public safety infrastructure.
- The Pensacola Police Department Citizens Academy has been postponed and will be rescheduled at a later date.
City Building Permitting, Planning and Engineering Services
In order to minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for City Hall employees, all walk-in permitting has been suspended effective Wednesday, March 18, until further notice. Business will still be conducted as usual using online accounts through mygovernmentonline.org and submitting permits electronically.
Below are a few helpful guidelines to follow while transitioning to online permitting:
Building Permitting and Engineering Services
- All permit applications must be submitted electronically using mygovernment.org. Guidelines for creating an account and submitting online are available at the City of Pensacola Inspection Services web page. For all customer portal and account questions, please call My Government Online at 866-957-3764.
- If the permit requires plan review, two sets of paper copies are required to be submitted. After submitting online, all plans must be dropped off on the first floor at the designated location. Please attach the application number/project number assigned to the online application to the plans.
- All documents such as notices of commencement must be uploaded into the permit application through the online portal.
- Contractor registration, new or renewal, must be a complete package submitted through the application portal or emailed to Inspections@cityofpensacola.com.
- All permits must be paid by credit card and printed from your online account and posted on the job site prior to commencement of work.
- Customers, picking up paper plans only, must schedule an appointment, and a staff member will come downstairs and provide the approved copy.
- Owner-builder permits will also need to be submitted online. The required owner-builder affidavit will need to be done by appointment only, and a notary will meet you on the first floor to notarize and witness the signature per Florida Statutes. Please call 850-436-5600 for assistance.
- Permit extensions and requests for renewals of expired permits must be submitted via email to Inspections@cityofpensacola.com.
- Requests for certificates of occupancy for permits issued prior to Nov. 5, 2019 should be made by phone or email at Inspections@cityofpensacola.com. Copies of signed certificates of occupancy will be emailed out.
- Inspections for mygovernmentonline.org permits will need to be scheduled either online through the customer portal, or via telephone using the IVR system by dialing 866-957-3764 and choosing option 5.
For all permit related questions, please call Inspection Services at 850-436-5600.
For all planning related questions, please call Planning Services at 850-435-1670.
- Home smoke alarm installations are still available for city residents by calling PFD at 436-5200
Pensacola International Airport
- Pensacola International Airport continues to monitor coronavirus (COVID-19) and stay in regular contact with state and local partners to ensure a coordinated approach for any necessary response.
- At this time, the airport is open and fully operational. Airport staff will continue to work to provide a safe and easy travel experience for passengers and will update as directives come from the Florida Department of Health.
- Travelers who are not feeling well are encouraged to please stay home and reschedule travel plans. Some airlines are waiving cancellation fees due to the public health concerns in regard to COVID-19. Please check with your airline to confirm if this is an option for your flight.
- The airport has increased the frequency at which public touch points are cleaned, such as elevator buttons, escalator handrails, chair armrests, counter tops and other high-traffic public areas. Hand sanitizer stations are also located throughout the terminal for the public's use.
- Pup Patrol activity in the terminal will cease until further notice
- Airport USO center is closed until further notice.
- United is cancelling the Chicago flight for the month of April.
- Delta is temporarily discontinuing curbside check-in service.
Escambia County School District
Escambia County School Superintendent Malcolm Thomas announced on March 12 that in an attempt to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Escambia County School District will take the following measures to restrict students and employees traveling within and outside of our district, and specifically, out-of-state:
Escambia County School District’s Food Service Department is planning to begin providing supplemental school meals from March 23 to 27, at the following locations: Bratt Elementary School, Bellview Elementary School, Warrington Middle School, C.A. Weis Elementary School, Booker T. Washington High School, Breakfast and lunch will be available from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Meals will be distributed in a curbside pick-up operation. Food items will be in to-go containers and will consist of ready-to-eat food items that should be consumed when received or should be quickly refrigerated for consumption at a later time. Meals are available for children and teens ages 18 and under.
If meals continue to be required after March 27, sites may be adjusted based on need and participation.
In an effort to mitigate the effects of COVID-19, Governor Ron DeSantis ordered Florida District students to remain out of school until Wednesday, April 15, 2020.
On Monday, March 30, all district employees, with the exception of Transportation employees, will return to their regular work locations.
Hours of operation for the district from March 30, 2020, through April 15, 2020, will be 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Upon arrival, each employee must go directly to their office or classroom, taking care not to congregate in groups of 10 or more in any common area. Instructional personnel will be receiving training outlined in the district’s Instructional Continuity Plan. School District Transportation Department employees will receive communication from their immediate supervisors, with instructions on when and where to report to work accordingly.
All state and district testing has been canceled for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. Due to the cancellation of state testing, no school grades will be issued by the State of Florida this year. All athletic contests, practices, and extra-curricular activities are also canceled for the remainder of the school year.
The school district will provide additional assistance to parents and students by utilizing dedicated employees to provide information about instructional resources.
Superintendent Thomas will be providing updates to families and staff by automated telephone messages. Parents and employees are encouraged to monitor district media sources, including the district website.
University of West Florida
Pensacola State College
- Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and the State University System of Florida directed all Florida universities to conduct the rest of the Spring 2020 semester remotely.
- As a part of UWF's efforts to make the transition to remote learning as smooth and seamless as possible for students, the UWF John C. Pace Library is providing laptops for students who do not have a computer to check out for the entire Spring 2020 semester. These laptops will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis for those who fill out this form as soon as possible: https://bit.ly/3aVcqlC. This offer is only available to students at this time.
- The Center for Academic Success has moved to entirely remote operations until May 5, 2020. Students should visit the center’s confluence page for more details on services and contact email@example.com for tutoring and other services. Connect with Tutoring and Learning Resources via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 850.474.3176 and leave a message. Messages will be returned during normal business hours.
- UWF has created a page that allows students to better understand online learning. Students who need any additional support, please reach out to the Center for Academic Success at email@example.com.
- The traditional in-person Spring 2020 commencement will not be held in May 2020. The University is working with student leaders to discuss creative ideas to ensure our students are celebrated.
- All students living in university housing have been strongly encouraged to return to permanent home residences or off-campus alternative housing arrangements, for the remainder of the semester, if possible. UWF will continue to accommodate those with extenuating circumstances and work with students who are unable to return home during this time period on an individual basis.
- UWF is actively working with the Florida Board of Governors, as well as the state universities to determine options regarding refunds and credits for room and board and meal plans. UWF will communicate with students as soon as a decision is made.
- The withdrawal deadline for the Spring 2020 semester for Part of Terms 1 and 3 has been extended to April 13 to allow students more time to make decisions on courses.
- All university-sponsored events scheduled through May 5, 2020 are postponed, canceled or being virtually conducted. Business meetings may be conducted virtually or in-person as long as social-distancing procedures are followed.
- Campus facilities, including but not limited to Health, Leisure, and Sports Facility, Aquatic Center, University Libraries and athletic facilities are closed for the remainder of the spring semester through May 5, 2020.
- UWF has developed a webpage, uwf.edu/coronavirus, for the campus community. This webpage includes a variety of Frequently Asked Questions and we are adding to this hourly.
- The health and well-being of Pensacola State College students, faculty, staff, and the community are always the most important priority of the PSC administration. PSC is in constant communication with local county health officials as well as state agencies regarding the COVID-19 virus, and we are continually monitoring the situation.
Pensacola State College will be on spring break the week of March 16 through March 22. In addition, coinciding with the Governor’s required K-12 closings, all Pensacola State College classes are suspended from March 23 through 29.
During the time that classes are suspended, the PSC administration will monitor conditions to determine what further actions are needed after March 29.
All full-time employees will report to work the week of March 23. Kelly Services staff and work-study students will be permitted to return to work the week of March 23, as well. Any employee with special circumstances that will prevent them from returning to work should contact their supervisor as soon as possible.
All PSC events have been postponed through the end of April, for example, the Lumberjack Festival that was scheduled for March 28.
PSC is asking that all students, faculty, and staff frequently check their email, the PSC website, social media, and the local media for further updates from the college.
- Escambia County and the City of Pensacola are canceling all publicly-permitted events with 50 or more people starting Monday, March 16 as recommended by the CDC.
- Based on our commitment to and interest in public health, ECUA is immediately suspending the discontinuation of services for non-payment during the COVID-19 pandemic period. This will apply to all residential and commercial accounts and will be in effect until further notice. As a provider of essential services, ECUA is committed to helping our community cope with the extraordinary demands resulting from this outbreak.
- While ECUA’s Customer Service Center in the Ellyson Industrial Park continues to maintain regular operating hours, we encourage our customers to take advantage of a variety of convenient bill payment options that do not require face-to-face exposure or can be done from home. For complete information on bill payment options, please visit https://ecua.fl.gov/my-bill. For the safety of our customers and employees, our customer service representatives are using hand sanitizer after payment transactions or wearing protective gloves and we have placed hand sanitizer stations throughout the building.
- ECUA is closely monitoring this dynamic situation and following guidance from public health officials and government agencies, most specifically the Centers for Disease Control and the Florida Department of Health.
- The ECUA Citizens' Advisory Committee meeting scheduled for Tuesday, March 17, at 3 p.m., is canceled.
- There is no effect on the water system due to the coronavirus, regardless the chlorination process ECUA utilizes in its water system is effective in inactivating the coronaviruses therefore, we are confident that the potable water supply is unaffected by COVID-19.
- In addition to our regular cleaning procedures, ECUA has implemented increased sanitizing measures at all office locations, with extra attention to customer service and high traffic areas in our corporate office.
- ECUA’s professional employees are critical to our ability to serve the community. For their sake and that of our customers’, we have directed our staff to limit face-to-face meetings in favor of communication via email or conference calls, encouraged diligent attention to proper hand washing and hygiene, and to stay home if they are not feeling well. We intend to continue to focus on prevention and do everything in our power to maintain quality services with little or no interruption.
We’re here to help: We know this is a difficult and unsettling time. We have a long history of working with our customers during difficult times and we will continue to do so. For customers experiencing hardship as a result of COVID-19, we have resources from Gulf Power available to help, and to the extent they are available, we’ll continue to connect customers with resources from federal, state and local authorities. A good place to learn more is GulfPower.com/Help. To further assist our customers, we also are suspending disconnections at least through the end of March.
Gulf Islands National Seashore
For more information please visit www.gulfpower.com/coronavirus
Gulf Islands National Seashore is announcing modifications to operations to implement the latest guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, and local and state authorities to promote social distancing. As of March 19, additional operations within the national seashore will be modified. Where it is possible to adhere to the latest health guidance, the following remain open at this time:
- Park beaches and water areas (water areas represent 82% of the park)
- The Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Naval Live Oaks, Fort Pickens, and Perdido Key areas
- The Fort Pickens Campground – including all associated facilities
- Restrooms at the Fort Pickens Area will be limited to the Langdon Beach and Fort Pickens Plaza
- The Davis Bayou Area facilities near the visitor center including the picnic area, fishing pier, restroom, and hiking trails
- Petit Bois, West Petit Bois, and Horn islands, as well as the NPS-owned portions of Cat Island
The following have been cancelled parkwide:
- All ranger led programs have been cancelled
- Special Use permits for activities with 10 or more people have been cancelled
The following are closed in Florida (updates in bold):
- The Opal Beach Complex
- The Fort Barrancas Area including the forts and visitor center
- The Naval Live Oaks Exhibit Area at park headquarters
- The Fort Pickens Discovery Center and Bookstore
Visit Pensacola, Escambia County's destination marketing organization, is continually monitoring the COVID-19 situation and is in close communication and coordination with Escambia County, City of Pensacola, Visit Florida, and state officials
We remain a resource to our partners, stakeholders, and community with current updates in this rapidly changing time. Visit Pensacola has representatives at the Emergency Operation Center and will continue to send the most up to date information we receive within our community as well as within the tourism industry.
Visit Pensacola is focused on providing health and safety information to travelers and the Pensacola community. All media and paid advertising has been paused as of March 17. The team is tracking traveler sentiment across social media platforms to monitor how COVID-19 is impacting current and upcoming travel to our area. Visit Pensacola is actively planning alongside Showcase Pensacola (marketing agency of record) for future marketing campaigns to ensure that Pensacola's tourism industry remains strong.
Visit Pensacola encourages all partners to follow the recommendation of Escambia County and the City of Pensacola that all bars and nightclubs must close for 30 days as of March 17, per an executive order from Gov. Ron DeSantis. As well as the recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to limit groups on Pensacola Beach to 10 people or fewer, with social distance between groups. Signs will be posted at Pensacola Beach, and the county will be monitoring.
The Visit Pensacola visitor centers (Pensacola and Perdido Key) remain open
and continue to be provided with the latest COVID-19 information and resources to help keep the traveling public informed. We are asking guests that do not feel well to please utilize our assistance by phone or visiting our website, www.visitpensacola.com
. The safety of our staff is of the utmost importance; therefore, we are practicing safe distancing and increasing sanitary measures to the centers.
The Pensacola Beach visitor center will be a virtual office as of March 17, 2020. The office staff will be available via phone and email. However, the office will be closed to the public until further notice.
The Greater Pensacola Chamber
has created a Facebook page to assist local restaurants by utilizing take-out and delivery options they are providing amid the Corona Virus outbreak. OWNERS: please post if you will be providing delivery/carry-out, your menu items if possible, and any other details we should know as well as if there's anything else that the community can do to help. https://www.facebook.com/groups/203490210906567/about/
Small Business Bridge Loans
On March 16, Governor Ron DeSantis activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to support small businesses impacted by COVID-19. The bridge loan program, managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), provides short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses that experienced economic injury from COVID-19. Click here
for more information.
Damage Assessment Survey
Governor Ron DeSantis has activated the Business Damage Assessment survey to assess the impact of COVID-19 on Florida’s local business operations. The survey, managed by DEO, will evaluate businesses affected by COVID-19 and the impacts the virus has had on the local economy so actions to implement appropriate relief programs can begin. The survey can be taken online at www.floridadisaster.biz.
Governor DeSantis has reminded Floridians that if their employment has been negatively impacted because of mitigation efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, these Floridians may be eligible to receive Reemployment Assistance. Click here for more information.
An Update from Visit Florida:
With the rapid dissemination of COVID-19 information this week, VISIT FLORIDA is committed to ensuring you remain as informed as possible as we assist in our state's emergency response efforts.
VISIT FLORIDA has taken the following action in response to COVID-19:
Additional Links and Resources
- VISIT FLORIDA is focused on providing health and safety information to travelers and Floridians. All media has been paused.
- VISIT FLORIDA has activated Florida Now, which includes the latest updates from state emergency response professionals hosted on VISITFLORIDA.com.
- VISIT FLORIDA is actively planning for future marketing campaigns to ensure that Florida's tourism industry has a strong, unified voice following COVID-19
- To protect the health and safety of the traveling public and staff, VISIT FLORIDA's four welcome centers will be closed until further notice.
- VISIT FLORIDA is tracking traveler sentiment across online platforms and social media to monitor how COVID-19 may impact travel and travel booking to Florida.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 General Information
Florida Department of Health COVID-19 General Information
CDC COVID-19 Information for Travel
Resources for K-12 Schools and Childcare Programs
FAQs for School Administrators
Interim Guidance for Administrators of Childcare Programs and K-12 Schools to Plan, Prepare and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) at this link
For any other questions related to COVID-19 in Florida, please contact the FDOH's dedicated COVID-19 Call Center by calling 1-866-779-6121 or emailing COVIDfirstname.lastname@example.org. The Call Center is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
For updates and additional health information, visit Florida Department of Health in Escambia County.